Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recent Celebrations: Easter and the Royal Wedding

If I may back up a little bit...

Easter baskets were a little scanty this year because I forgot to order things online in time (and there were so many great-looking treats I wanted to get myself the kids). But I was okay with that because I feel like we've had quite a few celebrations lately - and I wanted to use these Peter Rabbit pails I'd bought once and put away; they were the perfect size for the amount of stuff I had. They each got a Where the Wild Things Are sticker scene set from the $1 bins at Target, a candy bar, a Lake Champlain dark chocolate square (*ambiguous sugar), Divine dark chocolate eggs (*ambiguous sugar), and some Surf Sweets gummy bears. (We also re-use green paper shreds for our Easter baskets.)

We paint wooden, ceramic, or paper mache eggs every year for Easter.
For breakfast, we had yogurt (sprinkled with flax) in egg cups,

fruit in the shape of a cross,

and Bitt of Raw's gluten-free Carrot Muffins with Cashew Cream Cheese.

my little sweeties, after church
(Sweetie #3 had a black eye.)

Royal Wedding Party
I became fanatically excited about the Royal Wedding. (Sorry to those who are terribly sick of the coverage. Don't read any further!) I think I watched every possible "secrets behind the royal family" and "how Will & Kate met" show possible. We planned a fun little event (just me and the kids) for Friday morning. We dressed up - my 10 year old would only don a knight's cape for a brief period...

but my 6 year old (who is surprisingly quite fond of fashion and dressing up) went all out.

And we girls were very serious about choosing our outfits and headwear.
(I'm wearing a formal from my sister's highschool days.)

The Spread
(on my daughter's little table set up in my bedroom)

How cute are they all? I don't really have an opinion about the monarchy in general (and it's not my tax money; sorry, Penny!), but I do love a good celebration. And they seem pretty nice and down to earth. I was obsessed with finding out what her dress would look like - it was perfect! And strangely, I cried. The kids asked me WHY I was crying and to please stop.

"It should have been ME!"


I was really proud of my scones (because I don't know if I've ever made them before and didn't know what they would be like). I can't point you in the direction of a recipe because I kind of combined two. I made part of them with fresh strawberries and used Just Cherries for the other half. I will make these again because they were a hit in this house.

English Muffins

The English Muffins were also a hit. I made them cinnamon toast style, using Food For Life Gluten-Free, Multi-Seed Muffins and toasting them in the oven with Earth Balance, cinnamon, and a little sugar.

I printed off the Royal Bunting to hang around part of the table. I found this at Make Merry!. Since the kids aren't big tea drinkers, we mixed in a little apple juice with the tea.

For some reason, I was absolutely enamored with my Will & Kate plates. I got the idea from a party planner on Regis & Kelly. :) I happened to have a pack of Chinet hard plastic plates, leftover from an event. All you have to do is print off a picture, cut it to size and put it between two plates. I told Ryan I loved my Will & Kate plates so much, it's going to be hard to go back to eating off regular plates.

I'm going to wash and save these plates and use this idea for future events. And try to hide it in future blogging photos that I may or may not still be eating off Will & Kate.

This was the perfect time to try out Bitt of Raw's Raw Vegan Cranberry Cheesecake. I topped it with the love birds' wedding topper from my wedding, hee hee. Her cheesecake looks a "bitt" different than mine (better, of course), but I was pleased.

I thought this was really, really good. I made it the day before and gave it plenty of time to chill. I loved the texture and consistency, and it is my favorite raw cheesecake I've made so far (as well as one of my favorite cheesecakes period). I also love how the cranberries give it such a strong color.

I was in a hurry while making it so I did not make the crust raw and homemade (but I will next time!). I just crumbled up an Arrowhead Mills Organic Graham Cracker Crust into the bottom of the pan. (This would have been better if I'd melted in a little oil or Earth Balance to make it stick together, but I was trying to watch my calories.)

We reconvened back to Party Central for lunch (and more royal wedding coverage!). This time, it was baby carrots, apple slices, Tofurky deli slices, avocado slices, and cucumber sandwiches.

My little Brits had to eat their sandwiches on wheat bread with crusts and not too terribly fancy. Since I'm trying to avoid soy protein isolate now as much as possible (which isn't 100% easy but getting easier), I made homemade cream cheese for the first time.

Pip, pip cheerio!


  1. Love the $1 section at Target. Always my first stop. Your little girl is so cute - love her outfit and hat!! Hope you guys are doing well!

  2. Your Royal Wedding party looks so fun! I should make a goal to throw a theme party, even a small one, at some point. I watched a little, too. Those sandwiches look good -- it's fun how slicing and stacking them like that makes something so ordinary turn special. Good work on the homemade creamcheese!

  3. enjoyed your post...awesome clicks..real celebration..
    visiting here for the first time..glad I stopped by...amazing blog...love your lively presentation...
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  4. I got COMPLETELY obsessed with the Royal Wedding too. I watched every show on every channel the week before, I got up at 2:30am and made scones, and yup, for some reason, I cried too. I think I have a girl-crush on Kate. She is just the most beautiful, poised, classy woman ever!

  5. Soo glad u found my blog bc now I have found yours! I was homeschooled too! So nice to see you guys doing that! Love the food ideas,British wedding fun and more! Looking forward to reading more!

  6. Jenny everything looks so fun! I didn't care about the wedding much but I do love dress up tea parties :) I threw a tea party back in high school and enjoyed it way too much.
    The Easter photo of you and your kids is very sweet too, and your attempt at Bitt's muffins and cheesecake are quite admirable. The color of the cake is great.

  7. love your cake topper! i love birds:) you made so much good food, your cashew cream turned out so smooth!i had to stop watching the coverage on the wedding becasue i woke up twice thinking about it... thats my cue that ive had enough!!

  8. I am SO saying nothing about the royal wedding shenanigans :), but what I AM saying is: I love those pails; I really thought you had an older daughter in the photo and then realised it was you - truly!; that cheesecake looks so good! OK, one thing about the RW: any reason for family fun is fine by me! :)

  9. 1. You look too cute on Easter- LOVE that you are wearing pink tights (I hope that's not a sunburn) and that you are doing your smile like when you wore braces. Old habits die hard. But those pink tights are too cute.
    2. Dash looks three sheets to the wind in those royal wedding shots. What else did you put in that tea?
    3. I was also obsessed with the royal wedding. Did you watch the Will & Kate original LIfetime movie? It was good. I should've come home for the festivities. I also watched the wedding on 3 different networks because I was so scared about missing one tiny little detail.
    4. And concerning taxpayers, I think that the royal family actually payed for the lion's share of the wedding. And it did so much to boost the economy and the world's view of their country, that I think whatever the taxpayers ended up paying would be considered miniscule in comparison.
    5. And if we weren't actively attempting to sell our home, I might put a that photo of Wills & Kate framed on our wall because I love it so much.

  10. Loved the photos and your kids are gorgeous!

    You must convince your husband to travel, Italy is a lovely place to visit :)

  11. Heather, thank you! Target bins: me, too!

    Jessica, thanks so much! I'm looking forward to reading about your theme party!

    Jay, thanks. I will do so!

    Amber Shea, squeals! I'm glad I wasn't the only one! I guess you beat me out since you got up at 2:30! I was so mad when I first woke up and looked at a news site online and saw a peek of her dress. I shut it off because I wanted to be surprised!

    Will be back later...

  12. Jenny, great post! I think you did a great job with the Easter pails. I learned my lesson back at Valentines Day - I waited too long to order online, and then my blessings got paltry choices, but choices nonetheless. So, we did have a good amount for Easter. Anyway, I like your stonework in front of your house and the potted plants leading up to the door. I'm playing around with gardening ideas, so yours looks pretty good. I think it's so funny that you were so into the wedding - it was banned in our house. :-) Your Will and Kate plates suit you very well, I think!

  13. Can I come live with you...you are always doing fun and cool things! :o)

  14. I wasn't into the Royal Wedding till I saw it happening on 'the telly'. It was early morning on our side of 'the pond' so I had to miss it for work. Had I known it was gonna be so cool, I'd totally have made tea & scones.

    It would be helpful if you could tell us in advance what cultural events we're supposed to dress up and cook for.

  15. love your red easter tights! and the wedding party looks like a blast. your son is so cute in his top hat.

  16. I wasn't into the Royal Wedding till I saw it happening on 'the telly'. It was early morning on our side of 'the pond' so I had to miss it for work. Had I known it was gonna be so cool, I'd totally have made tea & scones.

    It would be helpful if you could tell us in advance what cultural events we're supposed to dress up and cook for.

    The Shenandoah Vegan

    (so blogger has been doing maintenance this morning, and it bumped two of my comments off so I'm reposting them - Jenny)

  17. Michele, I'm very glad you spell your name with one "l" to help keep things straight around here. I'm totally surprised there aren't more Jenny's in the vegan blog world. Anyway, thank you for stopping by. And letting me know you were homeschooled; fun!

    Maud, thank you bunches! What was your tea party like in highschool? Do tell!

    Michelle, what were you thinking about when you woke up? Wills? (or Harry!) I heart birds, too, but I guess I can't claim that as much as you since I have none living in my house. They're just in photos and on pillows...and I can't pass up a good bird shirt, etc.

    Penny! I was worried about what you would say about this post! Thank you for being sweet and kind. AND for making my day by thinking I was my daughter!!! You currently hold the title as my favorite commenter.

    Cary, thank you - they're actually orange! You can borrow them sometime. R was super posing. He'd laugh after I'd take the picture. OF COURSE, I watched the Will & Kate Lifetime Original Movie. I also recorded multiple channels, but I went with Guliana for a lot of it. Can we start wearing fascinators? I said that about the tax money because my Scottish friend isn't keen on royalty and the taxes she has to pay - not sure how all of that works. We can totally eat off Will & Kate when you get here; I'll have to make new ones, but that's okay!!! squeals!

    Glauce, thank you so much! And yes, I can't wait. His great grandmother is pure Italian so it wouldn't be a stretch.

    Blessed Mama, Are you going to share your Easter basket pics? Thank you for saying all of that. I do enjoy my pots; I made a little investment in them (from Wal-Mart) a year or two ago, and I'm glad I did. Why was the wedding banned in your house? I love your perspectives! Thanks for hangin' in there with me and my silly ways.

    Michelle, yes! Please!

    Shen, you didn't stay home from work?! I kept my oldest son home from school...shh, don't tell. Memorial Day is coming up. Perhaps you could wear a pin with someone special's picture on it? And some red, white, and blue perhaps? Some star cookies? I can't wait to see it all!

  18. So glad you enjoyed the muffins and cheesecake!

  19. bitt, thanks for sharing them.

  20. British way dinner. It looks delicious and it is different that they add the flag in every plate. I would like to have a lunch like that.